Small Business For Dummies

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Overview

The leading resource for starting and running any small business

Want to start the small business of your dreams? Want to breathe new life into the one you already have? Small Business For Dummies provides authoritative guidance on every aspect of starting and growing your business, from financing and budgeting to marketing, management and beyond.

This completely practical, no-nonsense guide gives you expert advice on everything from generating...

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Small Business For Dummies

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Overview

The leading resource for starting and running any small business

Want to start the small business of your dreams? Want to breathe new life into the one you already have? Small Business For Dummies provides authoritative guidance on every aspect of starting and growing your business, from financing and budgeting to marketing, management and beyond.

This completely practical, no-nonsense guide gives you expert advice on everything from generating ideas and locating start-up money to hiring the right people, balancing the books, and planning for growth. You'll get plenty of help in ramping up your management skills, developing a marketing strategy, keeping your customers loyal, and much more. You'll also find out to use the latest technology to improve your business's performance at every level.

  • How start-up and established small businesses can use the Small Business Jobs Act to their advantage
  • Enhanced and expanded coverage on using technology in your small business
  • Hiring employees using online resources including LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites
  • New coverage of the recent health care bill, health savings accounts, and their implications for small business
  • Updated coverage of the best places to get small business loans
  • What it takes to achieve and maintain success in an ever-changing economic landscape

You have the energy, drive, passion, and smarts to make your small business a huge success. Small Business For Dummies provides the rest.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This comprehensive and practical guide addresses how to find your business niche and time a start-up, figure out approximate costs, identify legal and tax issues, market products or services, and learn bookkeeping basics. Also recommended: Steven D. Peterson and others' Business Plans Kit for Dummies (3d ed. Wiley, May 2010.) (Library Journal, May 1, 2010)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118083727
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/27/2011
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 76,139
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Tyson has been featured on and quoted in hundreds of media outlets, including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes.

Jim Schell is the resident entrepreneur for Small Business School, a weekly television program for PBS and Voice of America.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Becoming an Entrepreneur 9

Chapter 1: Is Small Business for You 11

Chapter 2: Laying Your Personal Financial Foundation 27

Chapter 3: Finding Your Niche 41

Chapter 4: First Things First: Crafting Your Business Plan 57

Chapter 5: Making Financing, Ownership, and Organizational Decisions 77

Part II: Buying an Existing Business 105

Chapter 6: Exploring Buying a Business 107

Chapter 7: Finding the Right Business to Buy 117

Chapter 8: Evaluating a Business to Buy 131

Chapter 9: Negotiating Terms and Sealing the Deal 149

Part III: Running a Successful Small Business 161

Chapter 10: The Owner’s Responsibilities in the Start-Up and Beyond 163

Chapter 11: Marketing: Products, Pricing, Distribution, Promotion, and Sales 191

Chapter 12: Tapping Technology 221

Chapter 13: Keeping Your Customers Loyal 233

Chapter 14: Managing Profitability and Cash 245

Chapter 15: Learning from the Experiences of Others 271

Part IV: Keeping Your Business in Business 283

Chapter 16: Finding and Keeping Superstar Employees 285

Chapter 17: Providing Employee Benefits 313

Chapter 18: Handling Regulatory and Legal Issues 333

Chapter 19: Mastering Small-Business Taxes 347

Chapter 20: Cultivating a Growing Business 361

Part V: The Part of Tens 381

Chapter 21: Ten Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make 383

Chapter 22: Ten Tips for Small-Business Success 391

Index 399

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Interviews & Essays

Cheat Sheet for Small Business For Dummies

By Eric Tyson and Jim Schell

From managing to marketing and everything in between, the world of small business can be both exciting and overwhelming. It's a place where no two workdays are exactly the same and where unpredictable things happen. If you're thinking about starting (or you already run and manage) your own business, check out the following list of tips to improve your chances of success.
Copyright © 2012 Eric Tyson, Jim Schell. All rights reserved.

20 Tips for Small-Business Success
1) Realize that not everyone is cut out to be a small-business owner. Take the time to explore whether you're compatible with running your own business. Some people are happier (and better off financially) on the other end of a paycheck.
2) Get your personal finances in order. Before you jump into the entrepreneurial fray, get your own money matters squared away.
3) Pick your niche. Take stock of your skills, interests, and employment history to select the business best suited to you. Choosing a niche that you can be passionate about will help improve your chances of succeeding. Remember: Many small-business owners succeed in businesses that are hardly unique or innovative.
4) Benefit from your business plan. The exercise of creating your business plan pays dividends. Answer the tough questions now, before the meter is running.
5) Don't think you need bankers and investors at the outset. The vast majority of small-business start-ups are bootstrapped (self-financed). Consider your own savings, investments, and salable assets and then talk to your friends and family before you look to outside sources.
6) Know which hats you wear best. In the early months and years of your business, you'll have to acquire many skills. Gain the background you need to oversee all the facets of your business, but also determine what tasks you should outsource or hire employees to manage.
7) Remember that nothing happens until a sale is made. How many good products go nowhere because they don't reach the shelves? Sales are what drive your business. You need a crackerjack marketing plan that details how you intend to package, promote, distribute, price, and sell your product or service.
8) Pay attention to your customers. After all, you have to see a customer to know one. No matter how busy you are, especially in the early years of your business, be sure to spend at least 25 percent of your time with customers. You can't make the right business decisions without understanding the customer's viewpoint.
9) Solve your customers' problems. The best way to satisfy your customers is not by selling them products or services but by providing solutions to their problems. Understand the difference and market your products and services accordingly.
10) Keep in mind that quality takes only moments to lose and years to regain. Quality isn't a destination but rather a never-ending journey. After you've strayed from quality's path, your journey may be sidetracked forever.
11) Put profitability first and rewards second. Beware of the small business that treats itself to hefty salaries, high-priced consultants, and waterfalls in the lobby. In small business, profitability must come first. To understand profitability, you must first measure your cash flow and understand your key financial ratios.
12) Hire superstars. If you intend to create a growing business, your number one duty is to assemble a team of superstar employees in your game-breaker positions. Game-breaker positions are key positions, such as the president/CEO (that's you), the financial person, the sales manager, the marketing manager, the production manager, the office manager, the purchasing agent, the art director, and so on, that will make or break your company.
13) Don't go it alone. Tap into resources, such as small-business peers, mentors, and trade associations, that can help take some of the energy-draining trial and error out of starting and running your business.
14) Remember that vendors are partners, too. A good vendor is as important to your business as a good customer. Treat your vendors like customers and watch the partnerships grow.
15) Make use of benefits. The most valuable long-term benefit you can offer yourself and your employees is a retirement savings plan. In addition, find out how to provide insurance and other benefits and reduce your tax bill at the same time.
16) Pay attention to all small-business-related regulatory issues. Federal, state, and local government agencies require an array of licenses, registrations, and permits. Obey them or face stiff penalties, including possible closure of your business.
17) Know the tax laws. Invest in understanding tax issues that affect your small business. You can avoid trouble and, at the same time, legally slice thousands of dollars off your tax bill if you know the ins and outs of small-business tax law.
18) Keep your focus on the people. Whatever happens to a small business happens at the hands of the people who work for it.
19) Fast, good, or cheap — pick any two. Serious trouble awaits those business owners who attempt to be all things to the marketplace. Focus on what you do best.
20) Develop a passion for learning. As your business changes and grows, you need to change and grow along with it — particularly as you transition to manager. The one common denominator you find in all successful business owners is a passion for learning.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2000

    All the basics, minus one

    An excellent book for the newly self-employed! I think it makes a great combination with my own workbook about how entrepreneurs can use simple publicity techniques to distinguish themselves and their services among a very crowded market

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    great job

    helpful

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2001

    One of the better Dummies Books

    I really enjoyed this book. It provides good information about a range of small business topics. There is an especially good discussion of buying a business and due diligence. <BR><BR> Peter Hupalo, author of Thinking Like An Entrepreneur

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2001

    Great book for people who want to profit from small businesses!

    Great book, would recommend it to anyone who wants to make money at a small business.

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